Tag Archives: gardening

Garden Seeds – Spring 2021

I was a little late starting my garden seeds this year, but withing the range of start dates from other years. I started 20 plants of three different types of tomatoes: Early Girl, Roma and a Heirloom Orange tomato. I also started 10 each of brussel sprouts, Broccoli and egg plant. All but the egg plant were sprouting 4 days later.

Garden is Ready for Take Off

I started a lot of plants in doors; 4 varieties of tomatoes, broccoli, egg plant, watermelon, and artichoke. In the next week I will move the plants outdoors into a DIY green house to harden up before being planted in the garden. I began to prep the garden by hoeing the garden in phases. It took 3-4 sessions to turn it all over and get it ready for planting. Today I planted some cool weather items: spinach, Swiss Chard and peas. Eric has turned into a spinach eating machine so I am hopeful to get multiple plantings. The Swiss Chard was a gift from BillieJo – I never tried it before. The peas are left overs from previous years, so I am not confident of germination – last year Cullen ate all the peas as soon as they were ready.

1st Weekend in June

Hip Replacements. There has been a lot of press about FDA requiring analysis of metal on metal hip replacements due to concerns of metal wear and/or metal leakage into the blood stream.  I had been experiencing a slight burning sensation in my left thigh.  I have been concerned about playing volleyball (3xs/week) and it had been a few years since I had my hips checked so I scheduled a check up with Dr. Zahn.  They took lots of Xrays.  Dr. Zahn was really happy to see that bone wall has actually grown thicker where the tapered pin encounters my thigh bone.  It is very healthy bone mass.  The burning session seems to be due to a pulled ligament; treatable by over the shelf medications.  A reassuring visit.

Garden.  We have been eating asparagus 2-3x a week.  I have a row of peas that we are just starting to eat.  I recently planted a 2nd row that I expect will be ready to eat the end of July.  The end of June I will rip out the row we just started to eat and do one more planting that we will be able to eat in Sept. I planted 12 tomato plants.  I tried starting some from seed, but started too late, so I ended up buying transplants.  I have cucumbers, yellow wax beans and some acorn squash.  I am trying pole beans for the 1st time.  Supposedly the vines grow to 12′ so I have this 9′ teepee structure in the garden for them to climb.  It looks awesome and the beans are coming up nicely.  In theory it allows a lot of plants in a condensed space.  We will see.  I planted brussel sprouts.  Last year I did transplants and they were fantastic late growers.  This year I did seeds, but they have come up yet.  I will give them one more week and then I will try to find some replacements.

Frankfort AYSO Soccer Tournament. I took a team of 8 boys to participate in the U8 tournament in Frankfort.  There were 5 teams: 2 from Holland Patent, Frankfort, Mohawk and Ilion.  The tournament ran from 1am-2pm.  We played all other four teams.  We opened with a 4-2 loss to Frankfort.  I don’t think the boys were ready for the intensity of the other players and I was unfamiliar with a couple of players and may not have had optimal line-ups in play.  We had two quick goals scored against us before the team got going and pretty much played them even up from then on.   We blew out the next team 9-1 with Dylan going crazy scoring – they had no match for his speed.  We scored big again in our 3rd game and then broke for a 30 minute lunch break.  In our final game we played the other HP team and needed a win to secure 1st or 2nd place.  We were down 0-2 in the 1st half and according to Thomas “it was a disaster!”.  I told the kids to keep their heads up and play hard.  We rallied to a tie, and ended up in 3rd place in the tournament.

1st row: Charlie, Kalib, Thomas.  2nd row: Ryan, Trevor, Eric, Dylan, Sawyer.  3rd row: Jim.

Cookout.  After the tournament Trevor stayed at our house and we had our 1st cook out of the year at cook out corner.  Kathryn and I checked out the wet spots in Kirkland’s pasture to assess when I could brush hog the perimeter.  On our hike back we played a modified ManTracker.  The boys tried to ambush us from the hay pasture and we managed to get ahead of them and ambush the kids on the return trip.

Bella’s Birthday. Sunday afternoon we drove to Syracuse and met Ed, Phoenix and Izzabella for a late lunch at Hoffman’s Hothouse.  Afterwards we went to a park where Eric and Bella played, Phoenix showed off his latest codes and we chatted with Ed.  We had Carvel ice cream and returned home.

Lacrosse.  Eric is signed up for youth lacrosse this summer.  He and I practiced throwing and catching in the backyard for him to get the feel of the stick.

Planting the Garden

I planted my 1st row of peas several weeks ago and they are coming up nicely.  They can be seen in the background of the picture.  Today I planted much of the remainder of my garden tonight. A 2nd row of peas, brussel sprouts, yellow wax beans, pole beans, cucumbers, and pumpkins. This is my 1st attempt planting pole beans.  Apparently these can grow to 12′,  so I made a 9′ teepee for the pole beans to climb.  Tomato plants  go in sometime this weekend.

We have been eating asparagus 2x/week; Kathryn’s arm can be seen snapping off a few stalks on far right.  We have been giving away rhubarb on a regular basis.

Fish Worms

We have been getting a LOT of rain lately.  The ground is saturated and we got another continuous day and night of rain on Tuesday.  Wednesday am Kathryn arose at 5:20am to go swimming.  I got up, dressed, threw in some laundry and when Kathryn returned I drove to the HP HS and picked up 305 fish worms in about 20 minutes. The largest of the HP parking lots slopes to the south and has a storm drain at the bottom.  I have found that hard rains wash the worms that crawl out onto the pavement down slope towards the storm drain.    Since the  worms are cold and somewhat flaccid from not eating much over winter they are hard to pick up.  I used a plastic wire tie which I would slide under the mid-point of the worm and then dump them in a cardboard milk cartoon containing some leaves.  I think I only touched 2-3 worms total.  Once home the worms got transferred into a muck bucket filled with leaves and covered with damp towels.  This is their home until we decide to go fishing……

Thursday I did yard work.  I planted four trees I received from Miller’s Nursery:

  • a Fellemburg plum
  • Red Bartlett pear
  • Bing and Windsor cherry trees.

These supplement the 3 existing dwarf pear trees I already had.  I put in a Vanessa Seedless grape vine and 20 asparagus plants (10 Supermale and 10 Purple Passion).  I had given Linda B. and George M. each a clump of rhubarb and I used the new space for expanding my existing asparagus bed.  The picture below shows sprouts from my existing asparagus, the expansion area and the remaining rhubarb plants.

I mowed our lawn for the 1st time.

Our Yard

Eric picked daffodils for Kathryn to decorate the house prior to Billie Jo, Maureen and Wendy coming over to make wedding favors. He was carefully clipping each one, making a pile and then counting to ensure he had enough.

My peas are coming up and my tomatoes are sprouting.

On Saturday I dug up my grapevines and transplanted them to the new arbor. In the evening we walked to the pond and fed the fish. There were actually several catfish and a few bass that were active and eating.

Wrapping up the garden

This was a good year for our garden.  Other than the dogs eating a row of peas things worked out well.  This weekend I made the last harvest: a shopping bag of green beans, 3 nearly ripe tomatoes and a dozen cherry tomatoes.  A few lesson’s learned are worth noting:

  • We got 9 volunteer pumpkins and I feel lucky they came up.  Eric enjoyed watching them grow and they are great October decorations.  Note to self – make sure to plant pumpkins next year.
  • We had 3 volunteer cherry tomato plants.  Our one purchased plant that grew in a pot on the deck didn’t do so well, but the volunteers, although late came on like gangbusters.  Note to self – try to plan for cherry tomatoes next year.
  • The spinach grew fast, hung on long but was rarely eaten and is probably not worth repeating next year.
  • Avoid the climbing peas.  Despite the panel field they overgrew everything, matured quick and we missed the 2nd planting as they matured too quickly.
  • Eric’s carrots grew quickly and we need to harvest them earlier next year as a lot of carrots were thrown away being too big and splitting.
  • Multiple plantings of beans worked well.  Almost too well, according to Kathryn.  We froze a couple dozen packages of green beans and had green beans available to eat from July – October.
  • A new system of tomato cages is needed.  These were too light and put into place too late.

Next year I want to try planting a small area of Indian Corn with pumpkins and gourds interspersed.